Environmental peacebuilding in Liberia

Authored by: Michael D. Beevers

Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflict and Peacebuilding

Print publication date:  April  2018
Online publication date:  April  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138202528
eBook ISBN: 9781315473772
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315473772-15

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Abstract

Natural resources and the environment have emerged as an important part of the peacebuilding agenda. This is no coincidence. As this book highlights, a significant body of research suggests that natural resources can, under certain conditions, stimulate, aggravate or lengthen violent conflicts. For example, high-profile work has argued that renewable resources like water and arable land, made scarce by growing populations and elite “resource capture,” trigger instability (Homer-Dixon 1994, 1999). Other work found that a country’s dependence on high-value natural resources, such as oil, timber, minerals, oil and diamonds, can undermine economic progress, intensify poverty and foster corruption in ways that increase the odds of armed conflict (de Soysa 2002; Ross 2004). And finally, prominent and often-cited research has argued that rebel groups, and their warlord leaders, loot natural resources to fund rebellion and are motivated to fight for economic reasons related to personal enrichment, rather than any political reasoning (Collier and Hoeffler 2004).

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